• Sunday, 21 July 2024

Pendarovski: Constructiveness needed in bilateral relations with Bulgaria, existence of Macedonian minority is a fact

Pendarovski: Constructiveness needed in bilateral relations with Bulgaria, existence of Macedonian minority is a fact

Skopje, 7 March 2024 (MIA) - President Stevo Pendarovski says constructiveness is needed in bilateral relations between North Macedonia and Bulgaria, as well as in efforts to resolve open issues, noting that the existence of the Macedonian minority in the neighboring country is a fact, also confirmed by Strasbourg.

Asked by MIA to comment on yesterday's press release of the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which notes among other "recent public comments by politicians in the neighboring country and their false statements related to the Republic of Bulgaria", Pendarovski's office said the President's position has always been that constructiveness is needed in the bilateral relations and in resolving the open issues.   

Претседателот Стево Пендаровски и Фондот за деца при Обединетите Нации (УНИЦЕФ) денеска го најавија почетокот на новата заедничка иницијатива „Преосмисли ја иднината“, чија цел е на децата и

"In connection with the press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria, we inform you that President Pendarovski's position, both in the past and now, is that constructiveness is needed in the bilateral relations and in resolving the open issues, considering also that our country aspires to be part of the European Union where, together with neighboring Bulgaria, it will be moving towards even greater cooperation," the President's office told MIA. 

As regards comments about the Macedonian minority in Bulgaria, the President's office notes that it is a fact, as also recognized by Strasbourg.

"Regarding comments about the existence of a Macedonian minority in Bulgaria, it is a fact that is confirmed by the decisions of the court in Strasbourg," says the President's office. 

Bulgaria's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday it has summoned North Macedonia's Ambassador in Sofia to a meeting about "recent public comments by politicians in the neighboring country and their false statements related to the Republic of Bulgaria". 

Without disclosing any specifics on the politicians or their comments, the release says Bulgaria's MFA "categorically objects to any attempts to involve Bulgaria and our bilateral relations in the internal political debate in the Republic of North Macedonia, including in the context of the current election campaign."

Министерството за надворешни работи на Бугарија остро го осудува оштетувањето на културниот клуб „Цар Борис Трети“ во Охрид извршено ноќта меѓу 20 и 21 ноември 2022 година. 

"Bulgaria has consistently maintained a constructive tone and refrained from commenting on the constant provocations from North Macedonia's public arena. It has done so with the understanding that providing a constructive environment for the normal conduct of the electoral process and an environment of public peace is necessary for implementing the required reforms," the release continues.

The press release of the Bulgarian MFA comes after the reaction of the Bulgarian VMRO party. The party has urged the Ministry to summon North Macedonia's Ambassador in Sofia regarding a statement by President Stevo Pendarovski and due to "hate speech towards the Bulgarian state".

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on December 10 - Human Rights Day, called on Bulgaria to guarantee the human rights of the Macedonian ethnic community.  

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in its latest findings on Bulgaria after reviewing the state at its latest session recommended that Bulgaria should "consider all possible means for guaranteeing the effective enjoyment by persons belonging to ethnic minorities including Macedonian and Pomak minority groups of their human rights including through the implementation of the relevant judgments of the European Court of Human Rights relevant to the right to freedom of expression and freedom of association."

Судот од Стразбур на 6 октомври 2020 одлучи по втор пат да го примени членот 39 од неговите правила во врска со конфликтот во Нагорно-Карабах. Судот ги повика сите држави директно или индирек

"The Committee takes note of the explanation provided by the State party’s delegation that all its citizens have the right of self-identification, including for Macedonian and Pomak.

"However, the Committee is concerned about reports that members of Macedonian minority groups are banned from the free exercise of the right to freedom of assembly and freedom of association." 

Photo: MIA archive